An Oregon man who was posing for a photo in a cliffside tree fell to his death after one of the tree’s limbs snapped, authorities said.
Steven Gastelum, 43, was hiking with a friend down the Devil’s Cauldron trail in Oswald West State Park on Sunday when he stopped to take a picture at a cliffside viewpoint, Oregon State Police said in a statement.
Gastelum, who was from nearby Seaside, climbed a tree on the edge of the cliff to pose for the photo around 1:48 p.m., authorities said.
At some point, however, a limb from the tree broke, and Gastelum fell about 100 feet down into the Pacific Ocean, according to the statement.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and jet skis from the Nehalem Bay Fire Department were brought in to help search for Gastelum, and the rescuers eventually found him and brought him to shore.
He was pronounced dead at the Tillamook Regional Medical Center, the statement said.
Gastelum was remembered by friends and loved ones in a series of tribute posts on social media.
“I can’t even begin to describe the pain my family is experiencing with the loss of my brother Steve,” a woman named Jamie May wrote on Facebook. “Your smile and goofiness could light up a room. Taken unexpectedly and much too soon. Please keep us in your thoughts through this difficult time.”
According to ABC News, Gastelum’s death comes three years after a 51-year-old Canadian man and father of two fell from the same trail into the ocean below. The man’s body was never found.
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